How Managers Can Keep Their Teams Happy

Happy teams are productive teams
Happy teams are productive teams
Image Credit: Ionel POP

As a manager you have a number of different tasks that you are responsible for using your manager skills to accomplish. You have to attract the right talent to join your team. This is easy because we have manager training that shows us how to do it. Once you do this, you have to find ways to get them to want to stay. This can be a difficult thing to do. Even the most experienced members of your team can fall short of expectations or grow bored when not given the proper outlet or projects, making it essential for managers to provide ways to challenge team members to tap into their most valuable skills. If you nurture your top talent, you’re ensuring that your team stays engaged while fostering their potential to grow within the company. When you encourage your employees to show you just how innovative and talented they can be, your team is bound to generate out-of-the-box ideas to help propel the company forward. Now just exactly how can you go about doing this?

Find Ways To Create Innovation Incubators

In order to drive innovation within your team you need to mix up team members and create groups that are tasked specifically with coming up with new innovative ideas. By doing this you are giving your employees the opportunity to think of nontraditional projects, and that might often not be in their day-to-day scope of work. The goal is to encourage employees to stay on their toes, and continually surprise you with what they’re capable of.

Take Time To Focus On What Team Members Do As Well As How They Think

As managers we all too often concentrate on the outcome or result and seldom think about how a team or team member approached the strategy or idea that lead to its success. We need to be aware that behind every accomplishment is a way of thinking, particular to an individual or group that made the success possible. Managers need to help individuals understand how they approach critical thinking, and identify other projects to challenge and grow this muscle. By doing this you will show your employees that you truly value their minds and motivate them to use their unique approach to problem-solving.

Forget About The Org Chart

It can be all too easy to think about people based on their position in the company’s hierarchy. Managers need to realize that titles and boxes place limitations on both you and your team members, and can ultimately discourage opportunities to showcase talent. A wonderful thing can happen when you create a collaborative work environment where team members are empowered to share ideas. It’s likely expertise will emerge that you didn’t even know was there. When a manager is trying to make an impact in the business, we can build “functional work groups” tasked with tackling specific projects. These groups are made up of team members that have a variety of experience levels and are from departments to add value and fresh perspectives to the project at hand. This is where real team building can happen. What we need to remember to do is to make it known that titles are left at the door, which will encourage team members to show off their otherwise hidden talents.

Find Ways To Trade Fear For Freedom

Managers who want to have too much control over their teams run the risk of stifling creativity. Next time allow team members some freedom and autonomy to resolve their challenges within a certain framework. This can help team members to learn quickly and educate themselves faster through experience.

As a manager, get comfortable with the idea of allowing your staff to make mistakes and ensure that they have the opportunity to learn from those mistakes. We need to realize that it’s about guiding your employees through a process that allows them to learn faster and become more vested in the tasks and the company as a result. At the same time, this creates a culture of psychological safety that allows plenty of room for free thinkers.

Find Ways To Get Your Team Outside Of Their Comfort Zone

I think that we all realize that the members of your team can easily slip into a way of doing things that is easy and not challenging. That’s why as a manager you need to encourage your team members to go beyond their comfort zone by pushing them to take on challenges that involve different skill sets. One way to go about doing this is to start them off with tasks that may not have as much pressure as others, and be sure to keep track of your team members’ process while providing guidance whenever needed.

As the members of your team become more comfortable with these tasks and also more confident in their abilities, have them take on projects requiring higher degrees of ownership. You goal is so that over time the ongoing process will help your team discover and master a set of skills they didn’t realize they had. As engagement becomes a driving factor of employee performance and satisfaction, managers have the opportunity to not only hire top talent but to retain it by offering ways for employees to tap into and use their talents.

What All Of This Means For You

Not only do managers have to do a great job of building a powerful team, we also have to find ways to get the people who are on our team to stick around. One key way to make this happen is if we take the time to find ways to keep the people on our team happy. This happiness can transform itself into productivity and support for the rest of the team. Our challenge is finding out how to make this happen.

A happy team is one that feels as though its efforts are contributing to the advancement of the company. As managers, we need to take the time to find out how we can create innovation incubators within our teams. Having a successful team is what every manager wants. When our team is successful, we need to take the time and make sure that we understand what the members of our team are not only doing, but what they are thinking. When we ask members of our team to work on a project, we want to get the best out of each of them. In order for that to happen, we need to be willing to do away with the org chart and ask everyone to contribute as much as they can. Our teams can settle into patterns that are comfortable for them. Managers are responsible for shaking things up and getting our team members to stretch further.

Creating a team is hard work. However, once we’ve built our team, it then becomes our responsibility to make sure that the team remains happy. This is a full time job for us. Use these suggestions to find ways to keep your team both happy and motivated. If you can make this happen, then you should be able to retain everyone on your team and get the most out of them.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: If a member of your team appears to be unhappy, what steps do you think that you should take?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

I think that we can all agree that the pandemic changed a lot of things for just about everyone. If before your world got turned upside down you were thinking about changing jobs or even changing careers, you probably put it on hold because of the way that things were playing out. However, now as we have moved beyond the pandemic, perhaps it is once again time to start to think about what you want out of your career and if a change might be what you need.